It's only 2 days away. The media is hyping it. The stores have several aisles devoted to displaying the colorfully disguised immune system bullets masquerading as Halloween treats.
Do you have any idea what happens to your immune system when you eat candy?
Sugar suppresses the immune system. A suppressed immune system is ineffective at killing bacteria and viruses that can potentially harm you. A suppressed immune system can't stop the growth of cancer cells. The equivalent of one 12-ounce can of soda can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by forty percent and the effect lasts for five hours.
Here's what's about to happen in just a couple of days. Kids across America will don scary costumes and walk the neighborhood begging for candy. It doesn't sound so cute when stated that way, does it? They walk door to door and threaten a trick if the nice person inside doesn't give them candy. Have you ever wondered where this odd custom derives from?
By the time they make it home, most kids have eaten more candy than in the 12 ounce coke I mentioned above. Then they come home, go through their loot and eat some more, along with some hot chocolate or soft drinks.
No wonder why Halloween heralds in the “cold and flu” season. Illness rises, doctor visits soar and focus plummets during the weeks after Halloween.
There are some awesome visuals that go into more detail about the immune system at www.leavesoflife.org/media/ImmuneSystem.ppt
Here are 3 simple strategies for avoiding the health destroying effects of Halloween treats
1) Don't give out candy. Instead, go to the dollar store or the party supply store and buy small toys, cute pencils or scary erasers. One of my patients said she loves to give away books.
2) Create new fun rituals that don't revolve around candy. Learn about the meaning behind Halloween, and take time to honor and celebrate your departed ancestors. Play games, tell scary stories and take some of the focus off the candy. Have your kids trade in their candy for prizes.
3) Learn to make or find sources of ready made healthy, whole food treats. There are many such recipes in my new book “Healthy Halloween Treats: Quick, Healthy and Delicious Recipes and Rituals to Delight Kids of All Ages” . There is also a list of online sources of a variety of nourishing and delicious treats.
Why not have fun this Halloween, without destroying your immune system? How much is it worth to you to protect your health and the health of your loved ones? Is the pleasure of a few seconds on the tongue worth having your immune system paralyzed for hours and days afterward?